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By: Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)

The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins The Frozen Deep

The Frozen Deep is a story of a love triangle between Clara, Frank and Richard, spiced up with dangerous expeditions, mysterious visions and life-threatening circumstances. The end is as surprising and unexpected as we are (or are not) accustomed to in Collins' books.

The Dead Alive by Wilkie Collins The Dead Alive

Ill feelings exist between the Meadowcroft sons and John Jago, the foreman of the Meadowcroft estate. Then, John Jago disappears, and a body is found in a kiln. The Meadowcroft brothers stand accused of the crime, but are they guilty? The Dead Alive is a novel written by Wilkie Collins based on the true-life Boorn Brothers murder conviction case of 1819. Jesse and Stephen Boorn were sentenced to death for the murder of their brother-in-law, but were they wrongly convicted?

Basil by Wilkie Collins Basil

Basil, son of a father who values the family pedigree and who would not let him marry below his station, falls in love at first sight with a girl he sees on a bus. He stalks her and discovers she is Margaret Sherwin, only daughter of a linen draper. He stalks her and persuades her father to let him marry her secretly. He agrees on the condition, that, as his daughter is only seventeen, they live apart for the first year. At first the secret works, but then the mysterious Mannion, whose emotions cannot be read in his face, returns from abroad. On the last night of the year Basil follows Margaret and Mannion and discovers them in flagrante delicto. (Wikipedia)

Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins Poor Miss Finch

"Poor Miss Finch." That is what everyone calls the courageous protagonist of this book. In other words, "poor thing, she's blind, isn't it awful?" Ha! Lucilla Finch is the wisest of all the characters, in spite of, and perhaps because of, her blindness. This story is about her trials, tribulations and triumphs. She reminds me of myself. Not the falling recklessly in love and being pulled this way and that by foolish young men and mad old doctors. I mean that, like her, I'm blind and proud of it! (Introduction by Sandra G)

Jezebel's Daughter by Wilkie Collins Jezebel's Daughter

A brilliant chemist and a shrewd businessman — die on the same day. The widow of the chemist, Mrs. Fontaine, is left with the poisons he was researching , while Mrs. Wagner is left with her husband's mental health institution reforms and his plans for hiring women along with men in his firm's offices. Mrs. Wagner believes in treating madmen gently, and requests for the funny little man Jack Straw to be released from the madhouse. At the same time, her nephew David Glenney is sent to the Frankfurt office, where he works with Mr Engelmann and Mr Keller...

The Guilty River by Wilkie Collins The Guilty River

After his father’s death Gerard Roylake returns from Germany to take up his inheritance at Trimley Deen. On one evening he meets his childhood friend, Cristel Toller. They fall in love, but there is a crux. A deaf man, called The Lodger is obsessed with Cristel. He invites Gerard to tea with evil intentions… and Gerard accepts the invitation.The book is written in the first person and tells the story from Gerard's point of view.

The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins The Dead Secret

"Everything in life has a price. May be, telling a Secret has the highest. However, not telling may be worse. What will Sarah choose? will she tell the Secret which destroyed her life?"

Book cover Hide and Seek

The artist Valentine Blyth has a very generous heart. He lovingly cares for his invalid wife, rescues a deaf orphan girl from maltreatment in a traveling circus and adopts her, and mentors a young man who gets in trouble with his tyrannical father. The girl, who received the nickname ‚Madonna’, falls in love with the young man, Zack. Because one of Valentine’s biggest fears is that Madonna’s blood relations will one day trace her and take her away from his home, he keeps the little that he knows of her origins a strict secret...

Book cover Queen of Hearts

The elderly Brothers Owen, Morgan and Griffith live a quiet, retired life in the countryside, which is turned upside-down by Griffith's ward, the young Jessie Yelverton. Originally, her visit to them was to last only six weeks, but for a very certain reason, the gentlemen must find a way to prolong her visit and get Jessie to stay for ten more days. To make her stay, they promise to tell her an entertaining and exciting story each night...

Book cover Man and Wife

This 1870 novel by Wilkie Collins centers around a peculiarity of Scottish law of that time, according to which any man and woman 'who were legally entitled to marry and who asserted that they were married before witnesses, or in writing, were regarded in Scotland as being married in law.' This strange law causes the characters Arnold and Geoffrey both possibly accidentally marrying Anne, though one is engaged to another woman and the other is searching for a more wealthy wife to accomodate his lifestyle. In these circumstances, Anne needs to catch an actual husband in order to save her reputation...

Book cover Evil Genius

The Evil Genius, one of Wilkie Collins' last works, is subtitled "A Domestic Scene". It is the intriguing tale of family Linley, including the "evil genius", and their governess Sydney Westerfield. In colorful pictures, Collins presents the story of this family, which becomes entangled in the often hyprocritical Victorian perceptions of morality and decency.

Book cover Miss or Mrs.?

Natalie Graybrooke is in love with her cousin Launcelot Linzie, but engaged to Mr. Turlington, an older man who covets her fortune and whom she detests. Turlington is the executor of Natalie's father's estate. When Natalie secretly marries her cousin, Turlington arranges to have Natalie's father murdered, to gain control of his fortune.

Book cover Rogue's Life

"[T]he story offers the faithful reflection of a very happy time in my past life. It was written at Paris, when I had Charles Dickens for a near neighbor and a daily companion, and when my leisure hours were joyously passed with many other friends, all associated with literature and art, of whom the admirable comedian, Regnier, is now the only survivor. The revising of these pages has been to me a melancholy task. I can only hope that they may cheer the sad moments of others. The Rogue may surely claim two merits, at least, in the eyes of the new generation—he is never serious for two moments together; and he "doesn't take long to read." W. C."

Book cover Two Destinies

Mary Dermody is destined to be together with George Germaine one day, or so at least her grandmother prophesizes. Destiny at first doesn't seem to adhere to this plan, and the pair is separated and lose sight of each other. But when George saves a young woman from drowning, a strong connection seems to develop between them, which seems to be almost supernatural..

By: Willa Cather (1873-1947)

My Antonia by Willa Cather My Antonia

Two young children arrive in a small frontier settlement on the wild and desolate plains of Nebraska, on the same day and by the same train. Jim Burden is a ten year old orphan from Virginia who has come to live with his grandparents, while Antonia Shimerda who's the same age as Jim, arrives with her large, immigrant family from Eastern Europe to try and eke out a living in the New World. The children find themselves thrown together as they live in adjoining farms. Jim tutors Antonia in English and they become good friends as they grow up...

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather O Pioneers!

Published in 1913, O Pioneers! is the first novel in Cather’s Great Plains trilogy and follows the life of its young heroine, Alexandra Bergson, as she fulfills her father’s dying wish to take care of his farm, while also ensuring her brothers are well looked after. Entrusted with a great responsibility, Alexandra is determined to fulfill her father’s wish, as she goes on to prove her skills as a thriving farmer even though the task comes with a hefty price on her happiness. In addition, the...

One of Ours by Willa Cather One of Ours

This 1923 Pulitzer Prize winning novel was written by Willa Cather. This work had been inspired by reading her cousin G.P. Cather’s wartime letters home to his mother. He was the first officer from Nebraska killed in World War I. Claude Wheeler, the subject of the novel, is a young man growing up on a Nebraska farm. The son of well to do parents, Claude is troubled by his apparent inability to find purpose with his life. Everything he does seems to turn out wrong, at least in his own mind. Although he is a skilled farmer, Claude believes his destiny lies elsewhere...

By: Willa Sibert Cather (1873-1947)

Alexander's Bridge by Willa Sibert Cather Alexander's Bridge

Alexander's Bridge is the first novel by Willa Cather, published under the name Willa Sibert Cather. Heavily influenced by the works of Henry James, the book tells the story of bridge builder Bartley Alexander. Through his relationship with Actress Hilda Burgoyne while he is married his wife, Winnifred, he meets his moral downfall, and through another set of circumstances he meets his physical.

Book cover Collection Of Stories, Reviews And Essays

Stories and essays by Willa Cather

Book cover Song of the Lark

Set in the 1890s in Moonstone, a fictional place supposedly located in Colorado, The Song of the Lark is the self-portrait of an artist in the making. The story revolves around an ambitious young heroine, Thea Kronborg, who leaves her hometown to go to the big city to fulfill her dream of becoming a famous opera star. The novel captures Thea's independent-mindedness, her strong work ethic, and her ascent to her highest achievement. At each step along the way, her realization of the mediocrity of her peers propels her to greater levels of accomplishment, but in the course of her ascent she must discard those relationships which no longer serve her.

By: William Alexander MacKay (1842-1905)

Book cover Zorra Boys at Home and Abroad, or, How to Succeed

By Zorra, in the following sketches, is meant a little district in Oxford county, Ontario, some ten miles square, composed of part of East and part of West Zorra, and containing a population of about fourteen hundred. It was settled about the year 1830, chiefly by Highlanders from Sutherlandshire, Scotland.Within the last forty years there have gone from this district over one hundred young men who have made their mark in the world. With most of these it has been the writer's good fortune to be personally and intimately acquainted; and companionship with some of them has been to him a pleasure and a benefit...

By: William Beckford (1760-1844)

The History of the Caliph Vathek by William Beckford The History of the Caliph Vathek

This is one of the earliest Gothic novels. The Caliph Vathek is one of the wealthiest and most powerful men who ever lived. But this is not enough for him. He seeks also forbidden knowledge, and doesn't care who he has to hurt to get it. Aided by his depraved mother Carathis, Vathek proceeds to damn himself, and those around him. (Introduction by MorganScorpion)

By: William Blake (1757-1827)

Book cover Marriage of Heaven and Hell

The work was composed between 1790 and 1793, in the period of radical foment and political conflict immediately after the French Revolution. The title is an ironic reference to Emanuel Swedenborg's theological work Heaven and Hell published in Latin 33 years earlier. Swedenborg is directly cited and criticized by Blake several places in the Marriage. Though Blake was influenced by his grand and mystical cosmic conception, Swedenborg's conventional moral structures and his Manichean view of good...

By: William Carleton (1794-1869)

The Black Prophet - A Tale of Irish Famine by William Carleton The Black Prophet - A Tale of Irish Famine

A story about the Irish, just before the onset of the famine of 1847, with all the color and dialogue of a man who lived it.

By: William Clark Russell (1844-1911)

Abandoned by William Clark Russell Abandoned

As she walks up the aisle to her waiting husband, a young bride undergoes a sudden change of heart. She goes through the marriage ceremony in a daze, but refuses to talk to her new husband, a seafaring man. Her family is stunned and bewildered. After the ceremony, the bride stays shut in her bedroom. The bewildered groom departs in despair. The next day, the family receives news that the groom has been mortally injured in an accident. The bride rushes to his side on board a ship. When she enters his cabin, instead of a bedridden invalid, she finds him sitting strong and hearty at his desk...

The Frozen Pirate by William Clark Russell The Frozen Pirate

Sailing adventure with storms, icebergs, shipwrecks, treasure, and the reawakening of a pirate frozen in suspended animation for nearly fifty years

Book cover Last Entry

This is a sea-faring novel set in 1837. A wealthy former seaman from London and his daughter, who is engaged to be married, set sail on his newly restored schooner, headed for the equator for the purpose of restoring his health. Also aboard are a captain and crew. Soon, distractions, diversions, discontent and much more occur. William Clark Russell (1844–1911) was an English writer best known for his nautical novels. ~ Lee Smalley

Book cover Mystery of the 'Ocean Star' - A Collection of Maritime Sketches

This is a collection of short stories of mystery and romance, set at sea, in the times of the great sea voyages.

By: William Combe (1742-1823)

Book cover Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of the Picturesque

“To bury these, to christen those, And marry such fond folks who chose To change the tenor of their life And risk the matrimonial strife.” This was the humdrum life of Dr. Syntax before he set out on his bizarre and hilarious adventures, presented here in the form of satirical poem in 26 cantos. It’s a lot of fun!

By: William Dean Howells (1837-1920)

Indian Summer by William Dean Howells Indian Summer

In his novel Indian Summer, William Dean Howells presents a mellow but realistic story that has the complete feel of that delightful time of the year, although the plot actually spans several seasons. The Indian summer aspect applies to a sophisticated gentleman, Theodore Colville, who has just entered his middle years as he returns to a scene, Florence, Italy, that played an important part in his early manhood. It was here twenty years earlier that he first fell in love, seemingly successfully until a sudden and harsh rejection...

Book cover The Rise of Silas Lapham

The Rise of Silas Lapham is the most widely read of W.D. Howells’ novels. An example of literary realism, the story is about a farmer (Silas Lapham) who launches a very successful paint business, and moves his family up the social ladder of Boston. Lapham, however, is not one of the new types of American businessman, the ruthless plutocrat, rather he is the old-fashioned trustworthy Yankee trader, and the story deals with how he fares in the industrial capitalist environment. It is also a novel of manners, telling the story of the courtship of a daughter, and the difficulties the family deals with in attempting to move from one social class to another.

Book cover Christmas Every Day and Other Stories Told for Children

Five short delightful stories for children, told in the voice of "the papa" to "the girl" and "the boy." William Dean Howells (March 1, 1837 – May 11, 1920) was an American realist author and literary critic. Nicknamed "The Dean of American Letters", he was particularly known for his tenure as editor of the Atlantic Monthly as well as his own prolific writings, including the Christmas story "Christmas Every Day" and the novel The Rise of Silas Lapham. (Reader’s Note for story 3: A pony engine is a small locomotive for switching cars from one track to another.)


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